Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences
Howard Gardner theorized that there are multiple intelligences, and that we all use one or two for the most effective learning. Our culture teaches, tests, reinforces and rewards primarily two kinds of intelligence: verbal/linguistic and logical/mathematical. His theory proposes that there are at least eight other kinds of intelligence that are equally important. They are “languages” that most people speak, and that cut through cultural, educational, and ability differences.
The mind is not comprised of a single representation or a single language of representations. Rather, we harbor numerous internal representations in our minds. Some scholars speak of “modules of mind,” some of a ”society of mind,” and in this case it is ”multiple intelligences.” Gardner's intelligences include
- Verbal Linguistic intelligence (sensitive to the meaning and order of words as in a poet): Use activities that involve hearing, listening, impromptu or formal speaking, tongue twisters, humor, oral or silent reading, documentation, creative writing, spelling, journal, poetry.
- Logical-mathematical intelligence (able to handle chains of reasoning and recognize patterns and orders as in a scientist): Use activities that involve abstract symbols/formulas, outlining, graphic organizers, numeric sequences, calculation, deciphering codes, problem solving.
- Musical intelligence (sensitive to pitch, melody, rhythm, and tone as in a composer): Use activities that involve audio tape, music recitals, singing on key, whistling, humming, environmental sounds, percussion vibrations, rhythmic patterns, music composition, tonal patterns.
- Spatial intelligence (perceive the world accurately and try to re-create or transform aspects of that world as in a sculptor or airplane pilot): Use activities that involve art, pictures, sculpture, drawings, doodling, mind mapping, patterns/designs, color schemes, active imagination, imagery, block building.
- Bodily Kinesthetic intelligence (able to use the body skillfully and handle objects adroitly, as in an athlete or dancer): Use activities that involve role playing, physical gestures, drama, inventing, ball passing, sports games, physical exercise, body language, dancing.
- Interpersonal intelligence (understand people and relationship as in a salesman or teacher) and think by bouncing ideas off of each other (socializes who are people smart): Use activities that involve group projects, division of labor, sensing others' motives, receiving/giving feedback, collaboration skills.
- Intrapersonal intelligence (possess access to one's emotional life as a means to understand oneself and others exhibited by individuals with accurate views of themselves): Use activities that involve emotional processing, silent reflection methods, thinking strategies, concentration skills, higher order reasoning, "centering" practices, meta-cognitive techniques.
- Naturalist (connected to the intricacies and subtleties in nature such as Charles Darwin and Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame): Use activities that involve bringing the outdoors into the class, relating to the natural world, charting, mapping changes, observing wildlife, keeping journals or logs.
According to multiple intelligences theory, not only do all individuals possess numerous mental representations and intellectual languages, but individuals also differ from one another in the forms of these representations, their relative strengths, and the ways in which (and ease with which) these representations can be changed.